Tennessee House Bill 368, the creationist friendly legislation that we have previously covered on FrumForum, has passed through of the Tennessee House on a vote of 70-23. The Senate is expected to take up the bill for a vote on April 20th.
As many observers had feared, the bill passed successfully on a near-party line vote. 8 Democrats joined with 62 Republicans and one independent to vote in favor of the bill, while 22 Democrats voted against it.
WPLN News has a good collection of some of the statements that were made in support of the bill by lawmakers:
Anti-science rhetoric was common as the House debated the bill. Williamson County Representative Glen Casada says science proponents are intolerant of dissent.
“But there’s now the new religion of evolution. And they in turn are now trying to suppress questioning and free thought.”
Representative Sheila Butt, Republican from Columbia, says things she was taught in high school turned out to be untrue.
“I remember so many of us, when we were seniors in high school, we gave up Aquanet hairspray. Do you remember why we did that? Because it was causing global warming. That that aerosol in those cans was causing global warming.
Since then scientists have said that maybe we shouldn’t have given up that aerosol can, because that aerosol was actually absorbing the earth’s rays, and was keeping us from global warming.”
Representative Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, called the bill a return to common sense.
“And ever since the late ’50s and early ’60s, when we let the intellectual bullies hijack our education system, we’ve been on a slippery slope.”
Dr. Joey Hensley, a Republican from Hohenwald, says a scientific theory is…well, more theory than science.
“Every theory is… just that, it’s a theory. And many scientific theories that we’ve heard from, that people claim, every scientist believes a certain theory, that’s certainly not true.”
One Republican did vote against the bill however, Representative Bob Ramsey. According to his website, Ramsey also holds a B.S. in Biology.